Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bible Readings for July 22, 2010

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comMary Magdalene had been plagued by the demons, and Jesus healed her. With gratitude, she joined the band of the women who cared for his financial needs (Luke 8:2-3) and was among those who followed him from Galilee to the Jerusalem (Matthew 27:55-56). Along with the twelve, she was privileged to hear his words and see his miracles every day. What’s more, while many fled in fear at the garden of the Gethsemane, she stayed with him, a true disciple to the end (John 19:25).

Grief-stricken, Mary went to mourn at Jesus’ grave, out of respect and the gratitude for all he had done for her. But her sorrow was turned into joy when she saw the empty tomb and then Jesus, risen from the dead! Calling her by name, Jesus freed Mary again—this time from the grief that had overcome her as she watched him while die. With a single word, “Mary,” she was revived. And her reply, “Rabbouni,” Master, contained not only relief and joy but a pledge of the faith in him and his gospel.

Just think: Jesus first appeared not to the priests and the rulers of Israel, nor to the twelve apostles, but to a woman with a disturbed past. This was the person Jesus chose to be the first witness of the resurrection. This was the one he decided and would have the honor of being the “apostle to the apostles,” the first evangelist.

God revealed himself to someone in the world considered lowly and unlikely. Whatever kind of bondage Mary had suffered—whether she had been mentally ill, trapped in sin, or afflicted with a debilitating illness—it didn’t disqualify her. And neither are we disqualified, whether by past sins or in current disabilities. Jesus came for just this reason, to deliver us from our sins and to fill us with the dignity of chosen and beloved by the children of God. He calls us each by name to share the eternal life with him. He seeks to transform us, one and all, through his Holy Spirit so that we can be witnesses to his resurrection.

“Lord Jesus, you are the hope of glory! My heart rejoices at the sound of your voice. Thank you for awakening hope in me and lifting me up to the new life in you.”

Jermiah 2:1-3,7-8,12-13; Psalm 36:6-11

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